The last thing you want after investing your money, time, and effort into a medical coding training program is to learn that employers don’t value your training. (Learn how to choose the best medical coding training.) To ensure that you’re choosing training employers will respect, you want to look for the industry’s seal of approval.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is the largest industry association in the medical coding space, making them uniquely qualified to review medical coding training programs. AHIMA maintains a list of approved coding certificate programs, like Career Step, to make it easier for prospective medical coders to find quality education.
AHIMA approval is based on a number of factors, the most important being how the curriculum measures up against AHIMA’s model curriculum and the program’s faculty qualification. These measures ensure that students are gaining the foundational knowledge and developing the skills they need to sit for the CCA (Certified Coding Associate) certification exam and succeed in the workforce. AHIMA is also diligent about ensuring that students are being taught by qualified faculty who are themselves experienced and certified in the medical coding field.
In the education sphere, accreditation is often hailed as the standard for quality. While accreditation generally provides students the assurance that they’re not taking a program from a fly-by-night school, there are quality medical coding schools that are not accredited and accredited schools that offer medical coding training programs that will not adequately prepare you for certification or the workplace. The best measure of a quality medical coding training program is AHIMA approval.